X-Men ’97: A Comprehensive Review

When X-Men ’97 was first announced and the initial visuals were released, I wasn’t particularly excited. The original X-Men: The Animated Series was before my time, and I would have preferred a completely new animated series. However, the trailer showcased animation that was significantly improved compared to other Marvel animated shows on Disney Plus, which piqued my interest.

Initial Impressions and Early Episodes

Despite my initial reservations, I found myself thoroughly engrossed by the end of episode two and utterly captivated by episode five. In my first review, I covered the season’s midpoint, reviewing and rating each episode while discussing overarching themes. At that point, the average rating for the series was 8.4 out of 10, and I predicted it would increase by the season’s end, especially with a promising three-part finale. Spoiler alert: it did.

General Observations

Before diving into the episode-specific reviews, let’s discuss some general aspects consistent throughout the series:

  • Intro: The intro remains unskippable, featuring fantastic visuals and incredible music. The evolving elements in each episode’s intro, such as character appearances and background transformations, kept it fresh and engaging.
  • Animation: X-Men ’97 boasts some of the best animation in any series to date. The seamless blend of 3D and 2D animation, coupled with the original show’s art style, results in super fluid and high-quality visuals. The action scenes are dynamic, and the vibrant colors enhance every frame.
  • Voice Acting: Initially, only Magneto and Storm’s voice acting stood out, but as the series progressed, Rogue and Gambit’s voice actors also shone. Cyclops and Bastion had notable standout moments in the latter episodes.
  • Writing: The storytelling and dialogue are top-notch, with the series frequently delivering shocking and impactful moments that left a lasting impression.

Episode Reviews

Episode 6: Life Death, Part Two

This episode introduced more of the cosmic side of the X-Men universe with compelling visuals and intriguing characters. While Storm’s side of the story wasn’t as engaging, her journey to regain her powers, culminating in a new suit, was a highlight. The reveal of Mr. Sinister behind the Genosha attack added an unexpected twist.

Episode 7: Bright Eyes

Contrary to expectations, this episode did not serve as a calm before the storm but rather as an integral part of the escalating tension leading to the finale. Gambit’s funeral and the aftermath of the Genosha Massacre were handled with emotional depth. Rogue’s interactions with the broader Marvel Universe, including a contentious appearance by Captain America, enriched the narrative. The reveal of Bastion as the primary antagonist and Magneto’s captivity added layers to the storyline.

Episode 8: Tolerance is Extinction, Part One

The first part of the finale wastes no time diving into action, focusing on the revelation that Cable is Cyclops and Jean’s son. The episode is filled with Marvel cameos, adding excitement and depth to the narrative. The action sequences, especially those involving Wolverine and Nightcrawler, were exceptionally animated, with the POV Nightcrawler teleportation scene standing out as a creative highlight.

Episode 9: Tolerance is Extinction, Part Two

This episode split its focus between Bastion and Magneto, with Magneto’s radicalization adding a complex layer to his character. The X-Men’s decision to join Magneto was convincingly portrayed. The episode was packed with action, including the iconic moment of Magneto ripping the adamantium from Wolverine’s body, a direct nod to the comics.

Episode 10: Tolerance is Extinction, Part Three

The 42-minute finale did not disappoint. It balanced intense action with deep character exploration, particularly focusing on Magneto and Professor X’s relationship. The episode featured numerous Marvel cameos, contributing to the sense of a universe-wide event. The battle against Bastion was epic, with standout moments from Rogue, Cyclops, and other X-Men. The episode concluded with Magneto’s triumphant return, hinting at exciting future developments.


X-Men ’97 successfully revives and modernizes the beloved animated series. With stunning animation, exceptional voice acting, and compelling storytelling, it stands as one of the best animated series of all time. The season finale, in particular, sets a high bar for future episodes. Overall, X-Men ’97 is a must-watch for both longtime fans and newcomers to the X-Men universe.

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